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close this bookSPORE Bulletin of the CTA No. 38 (CTA Spore, 1992, 16 p.)
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Fungi that further fertility

Increasing crop production and land productivity in the tropics is essential if the food demand of the growing population in these areas is to be met. Of all the soil-related constraints on crop production, low soil fertility is the most severe on more than half of the arable land in the tropics. Infertile soils are acidic and may be deficient in phosphorus, nitrogen and potassium. On these soils crop production can only be Improved when fertilizers, in either organic or inorganic form, are applied, and when soil amendments are combined with improved crop production technologies. This is explained by Ewald Sieverding in his book Vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhiza management, in which he describes the role these fungi can play in improving soil fertility.

Dr Sieverding explains that until about 20 years ago, vesicular arbuscular mycorrhizal (YAM) fungi were virtually ignored by most soil and plant scientists. However, under controlled greenhouse conditions it has been demonstrated that VAM fungi increase phosphorus uptake. They also play a role in the uptake of other plant nutrients as well as in the biological nitrogen fixation of Rhizobium, the biological control of root pathogens, and the drought resistance of plants.

In 1980 a Mycorrhiza Special Project was initiated at the Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical (CIAT), in Cali Colombia. The general objectives of this project were to test the agronomic importance of VAM in tropical crop production systems and to develop practical technologies to utilize VAM fungi as a biological resource to enhance phosphorus uptake and utilization.

Although the content of this book relates directly to South America, with particular reference to cassava, the principles of the VAM technology presented can be transferred to other crops and to conditions in tropical Africa and Asia, provided that the technology is adapted to the prevailing ecological and socio-economic conditions

Vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhiza management by Ewald Sieverding

1991 371pp lSBN 3 88085 462 9 pbk GTZ, Postfach 5180

6236 Eschborn 1, GERMANY

Wheat in tropical environments

Ethiopia is the largest wheat producer in sub-Saharan Africa with about three-quarters of a million hectares of durum and bread wheat. It is one of the major cereal crops in the Ethiopian highlands produced at present solely under rainfed conditions.

Wheat research in Ethiopia CIMMYT book which covers wheat production anti research In Ethiopia. Although agricultural research in Ethiopia has been carried out for lo&rely 30 years, much has beenn accomplished in this time. This book deals with 16 disciplinary topics from wheat production and research to insect and rodent control and the utilization of wheat straw.

Another new CIMMYT publication is Wheat for the nontraditional warm areas, which derives from the papers presented at the International Conference on Wheat for the Nontraditional Warm Areas, held in Brazil in August 1990.

Wheat research in Ethiopia: a historical perspective edited by Hailu Gebre-Marlam, Douglas Tanner and Mengistu Hulluka 1991 392pp

ISBN 968 6127 57 7 pbk Published by the Institute of Agricultural Research

PO Box 2003, Addis Ababa ETHIOPIA

Wheat for the nontraditional warm areas edited by D A Saunders

1991 549pp

ISBN 968 6127 46 1 pbk CIMMYT, Lisboa 27

Apdo Postal 6-641
06600 MEXICO

Participatory technology development

Experimenting is as much a part of farming as planting seeds and tilling the soil. And yet, in many cases, development agencies have encouraged farmers simply to adopt new technology developed by others. Problems then arise when introduced technology fails significantly to improve low exernal input farming systems. Researchers have found that when it comes to developing appropriate technologies for rain-fed farming under difficult conditions, the smallholders are often way ahead.

Joining farmers' experiments is a collection of reports from both researchers and field workers, who have supported the efforts of farmers in diverse and risk prone areas, whilst helping experimenting farmers to link up and learn from each other. The range of experiences of various NGO development projects, together with national and international research centres in Africa, Asia and Latin America, will benefit others who seek appropriate ways of supporting farmer experimentation in their own areas.

This book contributes to the process of collaboration between local people and outsiders, in exploring the paths to sustainable development. It was written primarily for those who work with small-scale farmers in technology development, and for their respective agencies. The case studies can be used for training in NCOs, government agencies, agricultural colleges and universities.

The book includes a bibliography of recent publications about participatory technology development and is the first m a planned series of "ILEIA Readings in Sustainable Agriculture .

Joining farmers' experiments edited by Bertus Haverkort, Johan van der Kamp and Ann Waters-Bayer 1991 269pp UKL9.95 ISBN 185399101 8 Intermediate Technology 103/105 Southampton Row London WC1B 4HH, UK
Little is logical

Microlivestock is a detailed account of over 30 little-known small animals that could have a promising economic future. As well as dwarf breeds of cattle, sheep and goats, the book covers more unusual species that can be farmed profitably including deer, the giant rat, coypu and guinea pig.

Each potentially useful breed is analyzed and useful information set out under headings including appearance, husbandry, behaviour and uses. The muscovy duck, for example, is shown to have several advantages over the domestic duck, in that it is a good forager, is not so susceptible to disease and produces a lean carcass.

Easy to read, and with little technical language, the book will be particularly useful in those areas where good grazing is in short supply.

Microlivestock: little-known small animals with a promising economic future 1991 449pp ISBN 0 309 04437 5 pbk BOSTID, 2101 Constitution Avenue NW JH-210 Washington DC, USA

Protection and production

Approximately 60% of the developing world's poorest people live in highly vulnerable ecological areas. In many of these areas degradation of natural resources and ecosystems has become a mayor problem and, in many instances, immediate action appears to be essential.

Making haste slowly looks at environmental management specifically in relation to small-scale agriculture, as carried out by resource-poor farmers in marginal areas. It confronts the question of whether immediate action can achieve sustainable results, or if action based on more traditional approaches should be accepted.

Derived from a two-day workshop held in November 1990 in Amsterdam, the book contains knowledge from almost 40 Dutch specialists and includes case studies from six African, Asian and South American countries. This is the second volume in the Development oriented research in agriculture series from the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT).

The third volume in this series is Woody species in auxiliary roles. This book contains eight papers on the use of three leguminous perennials; Leucaena leucocephala, Gliricidia septum and Flemingia macrophylla, as auxiliary species in the production of water yam (Dioscorea alata). Two main functions are covered: the relative suitability of the woody legumes as live stakes to support climbing yam plants, and the various uses of the mulches in crop fertilization, weed control, soil temperature and moisture regulation.

Making haste slowly edited by
H Savenije and A Huijsman 1991
239pp ISBN 90 6832 040 8 pbk

Woody species in auxiliary roles by A Budelman 1991 151pp ISBN 90 6832 041 6 pbk
Royal Tropical Institute (KIT), Mauritskade 63
1092 AD Amsterdam

Farming systems research

"The urgency of improving the productivity of small-farm agriculture in the developing world is widely recognized. Not only is this essential for providing an adequate food supply to the world's poor, but a dynamic agricultural sector is also a key to more balanced and robust economic development. The challenge of making small-farm agriculture more efficient is difficult, especially because it depends on improving production from a large number of farms operating under a wide range of conditions, constraints and objectives. The task is shared by many people, including farmers policy makers and academics, but an important part of the burden falls on agricultural researchers and extension agents."

These words were written by Robert Tripp in the introduction to his book Planned change in farming systems:progress in on-farm research. He continues, "From time to time, searches for order and direction in agricultural or rural development produce what might be called a movement." This book is concerned with one such movement: farming systems research (FSR). The book is presented in three parts. Part I provides an introduction to the FSR movement and to on-farm research. Part 2 instances actual case studies from a number of African, Asian and Latin American countries and Part 3 deals with future directions for on-farm research.

Another book concerned with this subject is Farming systems development: guidelines for the conduct of a training course in farming systems development. Produced by FAO, the guidelines have been prepared for trainers to conduct courses in Farming Systems Development to facilitate the training of frontline extension and development agents in resource-poor countries in the FSD approach.

Planned change in farming systems: progress in on-farm research edited by R Tripp 1991 348pp lSBN 0471 93417 8 hbk

John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Baffin Lane, Chichester, West Sussex PO19 1UD UK and Farming systems development: guidelines for the conduct of a training course in farming systems development FAO 1990 259pp pbk
FAO Publications Div. FAO Via delle Terme di Caracalla 00100 Rome, ITALY

The third international symposium on tilapia in aquaculture, abstracts of a symposium held in Abidjan, Cote d'lvoire 11-16 November, 1991

Biotechnologies in perspective, edited by Albert Sasson and Vivien Costarini, 1991 166pp ISBN 92 3 103738 7. A collection of papers given at the international seminar on economic and socio-cultural implications of biotechnologies, held in Vlay, France, 21-31 October, 1990 Published by UNESCO, 7 Place de Fontenoy, 75700 Paris, FRANCE

Cereals of me semi-arid tropics, proceedings of a meeting held in Cameroon, September 1989. Available from the International Foundation for Science (IFS) Grev Turegatan 19, S-114 28 Stockholm, SWEDEN

Crop networks: searching for new concepts for collaborative genetic resource management, edited by Th. J L van Hintum, L Frese and P M Perret, papers of the EUCARPIA/IBPGR Symposium held at Wageningen, The Netherlands 1990 Published by the International Board for Plant Genetic Resources (IBPGR) HQ, Via delle Sette Chiese 142, 00145 Rome, ITALY